The Ecclesia of Jesus

an ‘Oikos’ family of God on earth with
juridical authority in the courts of heaven

is the next move of God
after 500 years since Luther’s Reformation

Jesus proclaimed the purpose of His work on earth (in Matthew 16:18-19)

I will build My Ecclesia, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (literally ‘against her’). And I will give you (i.e. ‘you, my Ecclesia’) the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

The Hellenic word “Ecclesia” was originally a secular concept used in ancient Athens already 500 years before the coming of Christ to signify the assembly of the eligible citizens (elders) of the city – i.e. the city council that ruled the city and made civil, court, and military decisions. Still having the same meaning, in Acts 19:32 & 42, the non-religious, secular gathering of the Ephesians to judge Apostle Paul, is recorded as “ecclesia” (translated as “assembly” in English).

Graphic art image below depicting the ‘ecclesia’ of the Athenians gathering on the ‘Areopagus’  (‘Mars Hill’ in English), facing Acropolis in the background. 

By contrast, the Hellenic word “synagoge” (‘synagogue’ in English) was used in the days of Jesus to describe the religious gathering place of the Jewish people – a word originally used by Septuagint (Hellenic translation by Hebrew scholars of the Old Testament scriptures) to translate the Hebrew words ‘edah‘ (Strong’s H5712) and ‘qahal‘ (Strong’s H6951), which are interchangeably translated as ‘assembly‘ or ‘congregation‘ in English.

The key question to understand today’s article is: why Jesus did NOT use the available word ‘synagoge‘, already in use for religious worship assembly, when He saidI shall build my Ecclesia and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it?

Why did Jesus choose a word with secular connotation, instead of an existing word that was associated with religious assembly and worship of God? What is the major and foundational difference between the Ecclesia that Jesus said HE would build, and ‘synagoge‘, or, ‘church‘, or, ‘assembly‘, or, ‘congregation‘?

The word “synagogue” is used extensively in the New Testament writings; e.g. Matthew 4:23 “He taught in their synagogues”. Jesus also used that word; e.g. in Matthew 23:6. But He did not use “synagogue” for the body of His followers; therefore, His purpose was not just to assemble people together for religious purposes; His intention was not to establish an alternative type of synagogue, of a slightly different “religion” than Judaism.

Therefore all modern English words used as alternative to “church” such as congregation, assembly, gathering, meeting, fellowship, worship – they all fail to convey the core of the message that Jesus was sending when He chose to use the word “Ecclesia ”.

Clarification – “ecclesia” was also used by Septuagint

The same Hebrew word ‘qahal‘ (Strong’s H6951) translated as “synagoge” by Septuagint, in other verses was also translated as “ecclesia” (both in noun and verb forms). My point is NOT that “ecclesia” was exclusively secular (since it was used for both secular and religious assemblies).

My point is that “synagoge” was pointedly religious and would have been more appropriate for religious worship, if that is what Jesus had in mind about His Ecclesia – but Jesus did not die on the cross to establish an alternative religious assembly – the purpose He proclaimed for His Ecclesia was that she would be victorious against the gates of Hades, and she would have heavenly authority on earth (“the keys of the Kingdom of heaven“) to bind and loose in the heavenly realm.

Overview with prophetic insight

In the first few hours of Jan.1, 2017, as I was praying for the New Year and waiting on the Lord to share His heart with me, the first thing I heard in the spirit was the word “Ecclesia“! As the Lord began to pour into my heart His own thoughts and feelings, it was as when a lover speaks about his love…

It is all about my Ecclesia; I did it all for my Ecclesia
That prompted me to write last week’s article (http://eepurl.com/cviOHb) which you really must have read first to better grasp today’s message. In that article I said that……the “Church” of Jesus Christ has not yet been fully restored to its original state and status, as we reflect on how the Spirit of God established the “Ecclesia” in the first 2-3 centuries after the ascension of Jesus to the right of His Father.

For example, when we read 1 Corinthians chapter 12 primarily, and then 14, we have to ask the question, “why all these things described here aren’t taking place in most church services today?”

The simple answer is: because we have not yet recognised the reality that what is considered “church” today (even among the most charismatic circles) is a projection and continuation of the “church” of the Middle-Ages.

We need to understand the call of God for this time and generation, to embrace the next move of the Holy Spirit on earth – a move that will bring Reformation to our “Ecclesiology” – i.e. the doctrine, or better, understanding of the Ecclesia.

500 years after the beginning of the process of Reformation, for which God used Luther to start (when he challenged the medieval doctrine of salvation through the Church) by reviving the Scriptural understanding of salvation by faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice on the cross for the atonement of our sin…

… it is now the time that the Holy Spirit is already at work to propel us forward to the next major stage along the process of Reformation of the Body of Christ on earth, so that we may become more of what Jesus has called us to be.

And that is… reforming the Body of Christ back to its rightful, original status, whereby’Ecclesia is the people who have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus, have become the family of God, who worship God as Father and Jesus as Lord, function as vessels through whom the Holy Spirit manifests for the edification of all, and make up the Royal Priesthood that represents the Kingdom of God on earth‘.

Through this new stage of the Reformation process, God’s Royal Priesthood is not made up of second-class, passive “laity” and the higher class, active “clergy”… where in GOD’s NAME is THAT in the Scriptures, or, in the practices of the early believers of the first 2-3 centuries?

Where do we see in the Bible, or read about the early Body of Christ having clergy (or “anointed ministers”) whose work is to entertain the religious audience/laity through a religious show called “worship service”? Usually in a “temple”? Where the people are for the most part not allowed to do any more than warm benches or chairs and be passive observers of what is offered to them?

In the Ecclesia of the early days, to which the Bible bears ample witness, the entire Body of Christ was made up by active participants who functioned like a family coming together. There were some among the people who were given responsibilities of service and leading, but everyone (who was an eligible member of the Body of Christ) made up the Ecclesia of God. The job of the anointed/appointed ministers was NOT to be the only ones who do the ministry for others to attend/observe, but to equip the believers to do the work of the ministry (Eph.4:11-12).

Everyone was actively participating in the common gatherings, and the Holy Spirit was using everyone according to their calling from God, giftings and level of spiritual maturity (1 Cor. chapt 12 & 14). The ministers were not some special clergy; they were the elders among the people who helped the younger members of the Body grow up in all things in Christ.

Ecclesia is NOT a religious temple where people gather as observing audience to a religious service, ceremony, mass, or, liturgy!

And certainly, Ecclesia is NOT a religious organisation but a living organism made up of eligible saints! A body made up of many members, where the whole body grows and is fitted and held together through every supporting ligament, whereby each one does its part (says Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:16).

The “now time” for the reformation of our Ecclesiology is to be understood as God’s“kairos-season” which really extends far beyond one calendar year. Even though
– the Hebrew year 5777 (in which we now are, which carries prophetic meaning, but will not expound on it here) or,
– the western 2017 (which most of us understand better, and is the 500th year since Luther’s 95 theses),

bears additional witness to the new move of God, reality is that it usually takes more than one generation of believers for a major shift to take effect on a widespread basis in the Body of Christ.

Therefore, as much as this year may be considered a turning point (mainly for prophetic purposes of identifying the core strategic move of heaven invading earth)…

… it would be unreasonable to expect that the mainstream churches would be willing and eager to change their set ways, to embrace an all-out reversal of medieval practices that have been syncretized with and within most ecclesiastical expressions of worship and Christian liturgy.

Because of potentially negative repercussions of revealing the full Truth about the current state of the Ecclesia of Jesus Christ that could reach dramatic proportions of believers rejecting the existing platforms of congregational worship, and causing a massive exodus from most ecclesiastical forms of Christianity today…

… I will NOT be too straight forward (about what is not aligned with the Scriptures) or explicit (about what is a false expression of ‘Church’ stemming from syncretism with paganist practices) in my writings on the subject.

We must never allow spirits of criticism, accusation, or, condemnation to take over, as we seek Truth and push forward for more of Christ and the Kingdom of God in our lives and in the Body of Christ, the Ecclesia.

Re-formation works better than… De-formation…!
Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Ecclesia, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (lit. ‘her’ because ‘ecclesia’ is a feminine word).

19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (‘will give you‘ – even though Jesus is speaking to a person at that moment, Peter, He is actually speaking to His Ecclesia, which will be made up by people such as Peter).

A more in-depth teaching on the words “ecclesia” versus “church” and the above words of Jesus can be found in an earlier article “Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body, the Ecclesia” (http://eepurl.com/bvqzEj)

The Ecclesia of Jesus

an ‘Oikos’ family of God on earth with
juridical authority in the courts of heaven

The word “build” in “I will build my Ecclesia” in the original Hellenic that we have received it through the New Testament Scriptures is “oiko-domeo”, a word made up of “oikos” = household (implying family) and “domeo”= erect a structure.That can be any structure other than a physical building; also applies to hierarchical or military structures, or a structure of parts that make up a body!

Ecclesia is a body of brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, ‘called-out’ (that is what the word ‘ecclesia’ means)
– out of the system of this world, and,
– into the household-family of God,
– to be built up together as members of a family;
– a family that functions as a structured body
– a body like a council with heavenly authority,

a body of people believing in Him, following Him, being submitted under His authority and guidance, which also has the physical appearance of a civil community on earth.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy….
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